Posted by Amy Daniels, PhD, Autism Speaks assistant director for public health research
In early September, Autism Speaks Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs Andy Shih and I traveled to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (keer-gih-STAN) at the invitation of the nation’s largest parent-led advocacy organization, “Hand in Hand”(Ruka v Ruke).
During our visit we met with the vice prime minister for health, social welfare and education as well as representatives of UNICEF, the Soros Foundation and other funding agencies interested in supporting autism awareness and service activities. We described the work of Autism Speaks and our Global Autism Public Health (GAPH) initiative to packed audiences of university students interested in autism careers and parents wanting to learn about advocating for their children.
Our goal was to share the tools and programs Autism Speaks has pioneered here in the States. It is an integral part of our GAPH program to help build autism awareness, advocacy, family services and research around the world.
But our international partners are not just recipients of our expertise. They become our partners in the global mission of improving the lives of those affected by autism today while advancing research that can truly transform lives tomorrow.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the wonderful partners we now have in Kyrgyzstan. We have so much to learn and benefit from each other. ...